Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Kisscut, Karin Slaughter
This one was so sad. It starts with the death of a young girl, at Jeffery's hands. She's pointing a gun at a boy a bit older than her and threatening to shoot him. Jeffery has no other choice. Still it tears him up and he constantly second guesses himself for the rest of the book.
As you meet the kids who knew the girl, Jenny, you start to realize there is something seriously wrong. Especially after meeting her intended victim, Mark.
There's this one part that is so reminiscent of the recent Steubenville horrors, that is gives you chills. Heartbreaking. And this predates Steubenville by a lot.
Sara is still dancing around Jeffery. They're actually planning on having dinner when Jenny threatens Mark. Well, actually, Jeffery leaves Sara to answer a page and she goes into the bathroom where she finds a murdered infant - someone gave birth and immediately killed the baby. Sara had seen Jenny come out of the bathroom and, after seeing if it's possible to save the baby, goes after her. She finds the standoff and sees Jeffery give in to his only choice.
Jeffery needs to see someone to deal with his actions, and they need couples therapy if they're going to make this second chance work. Sara can't let go of Jeffery's affair/one night stand. She can't let it go and he can't keep apologizing.
Lena is obviously still struggling with her rape and kidnapping. She's back on the job with the caveat that she see a therapist, which she conveniently "hasn't done yet." I really hope she does. These kinds of stories always talk about therapy and how the characters need it, but never actually have their characters do it. Then the character manages to just pull themselves out. It's really annoying. That's not how it works for 98% of the population. People need help! Therapy doesn't make you weak or crazy.
Sorry, I'll try to keep my rants to a minimum this time. :\
Anyway, Lena is in a bad way and is looking for control in all the wrong places. When they autopsy Jenny and see that she's been cutting herself, Lena looks as if she admires the girls "strength." When Jeffery asks her, begs her to be honest and tell him if he did the right thing, she intentionally hesitates before telling him he did, savoring the control she has over him. She starts drinking, which doesn't seem like control, but in some ways it is.
Basically, she's a mess. Understandably, but still a hot mess. And she sees everything that could help her as a weakness. She could talk to Nan, her sister's partner, but she "hates" Nan. Or Hank, the man who raised her, but she's too angry at him for her childhood. She could talk to Jeffery, or better yet, Sara, since Sara can empathize with most of what Lena is going through. Even Frank, her partner, would be there for her, in a gruff "I'm a man" way, but he'd still be there. But the best and most obvious thing she could do is talk to a professional.
More of her self destructive behavior is evident in the...odd relationship she forms with Mark, Jenny's intended victim (though if she really wanted him dead or just wanted suicide by cop is up for interpretation). He's been abused pretty much all his life - when he wasn't being abused, he was being groomed. It's almost as if Lena and Mark see each other as kindred spirits. In the end, she visits Mark in the hospital (he's in a coma), and she's finally able to talk about what happened to her. Now, here's the thing, talking or writing about something troubling is therapeutic in and of itself. It's like purging yourself of a poison. However, it's still not a substitute for actual therapy with a licensed professional.
Anyway, it's a good story with no happy ending. The kids' lives are horrible. I think the worst moment is when Jenny's father comes in and learns what's happened to his daughter. Everyone feels guilty and stupid that they didn't see what was happening right in front of them. Lena's in a spiral, and Sara and Jeffery are still struggling to make amends.
I still love this series, but man, Slaughter really knows how to break your heart!
Kisscut, Karin Slaughter